UFC president Dana White on Tuesday confirmed that lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov would attempt to unify his belt with that of interim titleholder Dustin Poirier on Sept. 7 at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. In making that bout official, it set up the dominoes that lead to Conor McGregor’s next fight.
“We got a deal done with Khabib. He will be taking on Dustin Poirier, Saturday, Sept. 7, in Abu Dhabi, UAE,” White said.
McGregor hasn’t fought since losing via a fourth-round submission to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October of 2018. He’s been linked to several bouts, but all have proved to be false starts, as he pines for a rematch with Nurmagomedov.
In an interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Tuesday, White confirmed Nurmagomedov’s next fight, which had long been all-but-confirmed. He added that the UFC 242 headliner and the bout between top contenders Tony Ferguson and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 238 this weekend would likely determine the who and when of McGregor’s next fight.
“All these guys have been fighting. This thing is gonna play out this weekend and then Sept. 7 in Abu Dhabi and then we’ll figure out what’s next for Conor,” White said, also reiterating McGregor’s desire for a rematch with Nurmagomedov.
“Conor wants that fight. Conor wants the rematch with Khabib,” said White, who wouldn’t rule out the rematch despite McGregor having soundly lost the first fight and not having fought since.
The timing of the bouts between Ferguson and Cerrone, as well as Khabib vs. Poirier, couldn’t be any better to determine McGregor’s next match-up. McGregor recently revealed that he injured his left hand during training. He didn’t give any details on his expected down time, but a few months for these other bouts to play out certainly don’t hurt.
Dana White confirms Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier set to headline UFC 242
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